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Film Compacts

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Praktica P60 Zoom

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Praktica PLF 285

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Praktica SK 3000

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Praktica SK 320

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Praktica SK 450

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Praktica SK 750

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Praktica SK210

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Pentax ESPIO 160

Similar in style to the Espio 140M but has an even bigger lens range and, consequently, a bigger casing, so needs to be carried in a separate case or gadget bag. The camera's controls work well, but the lens quality at this level would not be described as razor sharp. However if you need the 160mm magnification, for bringing in distant detail, then this may be for you.

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Pentax ESPIO 200

This could be an alternative camera for someone who already has an SLR camera, but wants to take an easier to use, less bulky camera on holiday instead. It is the Gigantor of compacts and is both hefty in size and weight, but does give you a massive range of 48-200mm - great for frame filling shots of the kids, or next doors cat! It isn't suited to indoor shooting though, as its wide-angle is poor.

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Pentax ESPIO 115G

A very useable zoom range in one of the smallest camera bodies around, certainly makes this Pentax stand out. Very quiet in operation and easy to load, it looks neat too. Some may find the viewfinder position difficult to use due to the proximity of the thumb operated zoom control - it depends on which eye you use to view with!

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Praktica AP 310

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Pentax ESPIO 105WR

Pentax have dipped their toes into the water (literally), with this weatherproof version of its 38-105mm compact, but has included some extra features as well as a more accurate focusing system. Panoramic mode gives 10x4in prints, but only masks the top and bottom of the negative, and enlarges the rest, so can be grainy - they cost more to print too! Infinity focus lets you shoot through glass. The black/grey livery makes a change from silver these days.

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Pentax ESPIO 120 Mi

This Pentax steps up a gear from their mid-range compacts, notably in the physical size and quality of finish. It houses a good quality zoom (38-120mm), with plenty of features for a variety of picture taking situations. The focus and exposure system is also an improvement over their earlier compacts, so should give sharp, contrasty results. Panorama mode is included, but is not generally seen as the main reason for buying this type of camera.

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Pentax ESPIO 135M

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Pentax ESPIO 140M

This camera from Pentax features a large zoom lens range, in a bulky bulbous casing. The aperture range of the lens means the use of faster film speeds to avoid camera shake at the 140mm end of the zoom, although the larger size of the body gives a fair chance of keeping it steady. A pretty reliable performer, but not at all pocketable.

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Pentax ESPIO 145M super

Pentax have managed, quite successfully we think, to incorporate a 38-145mm zoom into a handy sized compact. The finish is very smart thanks to a brushed silver finish, and a trendy walnut effect handgrip - very much like an upmarket Bentley. The feature list is also of a high standard, and operates very smoothly indeed. A lens of this magnification does need a faster film to give its sharpest results though.

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Pentax ESPIO 738S/G

This unit is pitched into a very competitive sector of the market, where we have plenty of cameras to choose from, and certainly provides the quality and styling to put it up with the best. The operation of loading up with film, pushing the red button for on, zooming the lens and firing the shutter is a doddle. The large buttons on the top are easy to press when needed, and the viewfinder is above average at this level.

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Pentax ESPIO 838S/G

This is a very similar camera to the Espio 738S, but gives us a slightly longer telephoto to get us slightly closer to the subject. Nice chrome Pentax logo on the front, but there is quite a price hike for these minor differences. All other features are shared with the 738S, so the quality and ease of use are not in question.

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Pentax ESPIO 928M

The wide-angle zoom lens on this Pentax is the highlight of this camera, together with a very good build quality and smooth lines. It is also fairly compact, and doesn't have many competitors at this level, so if you are looking for a 28-90 zoom, this may be the one. The passive autofocus will give sharp pictures from around 1.5 feet, which means reasonable close ups for this type of camera. Very comfortable to use.

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Pentax EPSIO 105G

Sharing the same successful body styling of a number of Espios, this camera does have a very useful zoom range, incorporating the 105mm focal length - ideal for family portraits. Nicely finished with a neat rubberised grip, smooth zoom operation and bright viewfinder, it has a lot going for it. All controls fall readily to hand, and the lack of fiddly little buttons means that there is limited room for confusion, for the non-technophiles amongst us.